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Deadlines make SI look bad on NFL draft predictions

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ondeadline, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. ondeadline

    ondeadline Active Member

    SI's deadline is Monday and it was Tuesday that the Dolphins signed Jake Long.

    My SI shows up in the mailbox and its prediction: Dolphins take Ohio State's Vernon Gholston at No. 1 and the Rams take Jake Long at No. 2.

    If you're wrong and most readers find out later that you're wrong it's one thing. But every subscriber will get this issue and know from the moment they get it that the No. 1 prediction is wrong.

    That's about all I'll read from that part of this SI. I'm so sick of NFL draft coverage and try to avoid it when I'm off because I know I'll have to read about it at work.
  2. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    All true, but there's nothing to be done about it.

    Deadlines happen, and then news happens, and that's life. I'm sure the SI people are gritting their teeth over the bad timing. But that's all it is, obviously.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Two years ago one of the Texas papers had already gone to print with their NFL writer's mock draft when the Texans surprisingly signed Mario Williams rather than Reggie Bush. The paper had the story of the signing, but the mock draft was left unchanged, making the whole place look like buffoons...

    The SI thing is different. SI goes to print on Monday or Tuesday so there isn't anything they can do. They get some right, they get some wrong... I doubt Dr. Z or whoever's mock it is, is going to lose any sleep over it.
  4. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    It's also Reason No. 3425 why we should report the news, discuss the news, interpret the news . . . but not predict the news.

    Super Bowl predictions, Kentucky Derby predictions, mock drafts.

    Completely worthless.

    Especially mock drafts, in which case one wrong pick early and the resulting domino effect can cause 90 percent of the picks to be wrong.

    And if you absolutely have to do a mock draft that goes to press six days before the draft . . . do not make it a major centerpiece presentation of your issue.
  5. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Ah, BT, that's what my head has been telling me for years, particularly with regard to mock drafts. But even if I ran the world, I probably wouldn't change 'em. Readers love them, for whatever reason.
  6. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Well, with a Super Bowl or a Derby or something, you're not going to get fucked like this. You know when the event is - though a scratch or something could hurt.
    With this, there's no certainty that someone won't be signed early as happened with Miami and Long. So you are taking a rather big chance.
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Readers love mock drafts. I know papers that do new ones almost weekly from the combine through the draft. Readers love that stuff. God forbid you give the readers what they want for once...
  8. ondeadline

    ondeadline Active Member

    Speaking of SI predictions: There were some good ones regarding college basketball that were pointed out in letters to the editor in the same issue.

    In the April 9, 2007 issue, SI listed the top contenders for the following season as North Carolina, UCLA, Kansas and Memphis.

    In the college preview issue for the season that just ended North Carolina, UCLA, Memphis and Kansas were the Nos. 1, 2 4 and 6 picks.
  9. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    There's nothing wrong with mock drafts except their essential dopiness, which God knows is no disqualification for any newspaper story. However, reports that the Dolphins were very interested in Long were widespread well before Monday. My guess is that Dr. Z, as many draftniks are wont to do, made his predictions on the basis of what he thought the Dolphins SHOULD do rather than employ actual newsgathering in making his mock picks.
  10. ondeadline

    ondeadline Active Member

    Granted I hate all the NFL draft coverage, but what really seems painfully boring is when sports-talk radio shows spend an entire hour or more doing a mock draft. Some use callers to make he pick for teams and some use sportswriters from the cities. Either way, sports radio is never more boring than when this is done.
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Also, to be fair, when was the last time a team signed a pick four days before the draft? It was kind of unprecedented... Nobody expects anything to be signed until Thursday or Friday at the earliest...
  12. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    You can accomplish the same thing by listing the team, then 4-5 players who are possible targets and/or good fits.

    That way, you're not saying "this is the pick!", you're only listing good fits based on need (interpretation, not prediction). And listing 4-5 players gives you wiggle room to be somewhat accurate instead of batting 3 for 32 (the usual mock draft batting average).
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